Saturday, September 11, 2010


To the words
When it happens you are not there
oh you beyond numbers
beyond recollection
passed on from breath to breath
given again
from day to day from age
to age
charged with knowledge
knowing nothing
indifferent elders
indispensable and sleepless
keepers of our names
before ever we came
to be called by them
you that were
formed to begin with
you that were cried out
you that were spoken
to begin with
to say what could not be said
ancient precious
and helpless ones
say it

W.S. Merwin
October 2001

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